Ripped from the Headlines!
Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.
I don’t really have a favorite news source, since they’re all questionable in my mind–liberal or conservative, it doesn’t matter. There’s always more than one truth.
This article caught my eye on my Facebook feed this morning, and I haven’t read the whole thing, but it sure triggered my imagination. . . .
It had been a long, tiring day for Luke and his partner, Chad, as they patrolled their beat in the racially charged city. It seemed to Luke that there was just constant, unrelenting anger and hatred bubbling up from the very pavement of the streets and sidewalks. It was a tough time to be a cop. It was a tough time to be a white cop or a Black one, it really didn’t matter. You couldn’t do anything right, and there was always the likelihood of some fruit loop out there taking a couple of head shots at him and his partner. They knew they risked their lives every day. It wore on you after a while.
During the course of the day, they’d written up the standard traffic stops, dealing with people who were either irate, nervous, hateful, or contrite. Sometimes, all of the above.
Then there were the hysterical calls from people who had injured themselves and needed help RIGHT NOW! The truly serious injuries, the nothing-to-it stuff, all had to be handled with professionalism and dispatch. And of course there were always the groups of “I’m a tough guy and no cop can scare me” young hoods who were so brave that they could only operate in gangs. Catch one of them alone and you had a different kid on your hands, scared to death and willing to rat out all his buddies.
Well, their shift was almost over, and Luke was looking forward to home and a shower, and time with his family.
Until the big SUV came roaring straight at their squad car from what seemed like nowhere. Luke immediately hit his lights and siren, hoping to wake up the oncoming driver. He pulled his weapon out of its holster, ready to shoot out a tire or whatever else he needed to do. At the same time, he tried to figure out what direction to swerve his vehicle into without doing damage to other cars on the road. He quickly pulled to the right, other cars giving him room, and the SUV whizzed by on his left, too close for comfort.
The SUV kept going, so Luke did a quick turn-around and went in pursuit. He came right up on the speeding vehicle, pulled alongside, and motioned for the driver to pull over. Something–his lights, the siren?–must have gotten through to the driver, because she did slow down and pull over. Rolling to a stop, she put her head down on the steering wheel and began to sing Amazing Grace in a gravelly, tuneless voice. When Luke approached her side of the SUV, she looked up at him and said, “Hi, I’m God! What can I do for you?”
Then she started to laugh hysterically. Without warning, she whipped her door open. Luke stumbled backward, nearly fell, but managed to keep his balance. As the woman, obviously drunk, rolled out of the car with her arms flailing and hands balled into fists, Luke drew his taser. She kept coming at him, laughing and yelling that she was God. When she got close enough to land a punch, he warned her again and let go with the taser.
Bam! She went down hard, twitching and drooling. He and Chad, who had come up on the other side of the SUV, rolled her over and cuffed her. When she came around, they would put her in the back of the squad car and take her in. Drunk driving, assault on an officer–that would be for starters.
Of course, quite a crowd had gathered. They were your standard looky-loos, along with some folks who just always seemed to show up with their race-baiting venom.
“Hey, man, why didn’t you shoot her? ‘Cause she’s white?”
“Hey, Cop, how come you didn’t beat her up? No Black woman would have gotten away with that!”
“Police brutality! I saw the whole thing! Nobody deserves to be tased like a dumb animal! I want your names and badge numbers!”
Luke and Chad let it flow over their heads while they finished securing the SUV, and then getting the woman up on her feet. She continued to sing, laugh, cry, and talk crazy. She reeked of liquor and was stumbling drunk, seeming to be unaware that she was cuffed and in custody.
Just another day, and a perfect way to end a long shift. Luke was startled, though, when a young woman approached him and place her hand on his forearm.
“Officer, I just wanted to thank you for getting this person off the road. You probably saved her life, and maybe the lives of other people. Good job. Thank you.”
Yeah. A good way to end the day.